Friday, March 29, 2013

Book Review: A Rabbi Looks at the Last Days



Book Review: A Rabbi Looks at the Last Days by “Rabbi” Jonathan Bernis

Unfortunately, I have some issues with the way the book is marketed. It announces a “Rabbi” on the front cover, but Bernis admits inside that he is not an actual Jewish Rabbi, but a self-called “Messianic Rabbi;” that is, no university or yeshiva granted him the title. Most people probably expect Bernis to be a former Jewish Rabbi converted to Christianity.

I am also a little uncomfortable with the content. In my Kindle version, at location 1161, Bernis mentions “the book of Josephus” as one of his sources; but Bible students know that Josephus wrote more than just one book. It was surprising to me that the editors didn’t catch this.

On the positive side, the book makes for an interesting read and keeps the reader engaged. Bernis’ warnings about ‘newspaper eschatologists’ and inaccurate or fabricated ‘prophecy fulfillments’ are right on the money. Too many self-proclaimed prophecy teachers are sensationalistic rather than exegetical when it comes to Bible prophecy (most leave the Bible aside to engage in countless speculations).

The book may work as an introduction to Jewish–Christian eschatology, but to learn more about prophecy from a Messianic Jew, I would probably suggest Arnold Fruchtenbaum’s The Footsteps of Messiah. Though pricey, it is a good resource.

Disclosure: The book was received for free from Net Galley book review program. The program does not require a positive review, only a truthful one.